Global Stocks Fall After Oil Slides--3rd Update

By Riva Gold and Lucy Craymer Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks were poised to stall Friday after losses in energy companies dragged down bourses in Europe and Asia.

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Futures pointed to a 0.1% opening decline for the S&P 500, which remained on track to end the week over 1% higher. On Thursday it notched its 19th record closing high of the year, surpassing the 18 records reached in 2016.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite have risen for six straight sessions, supported by stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, expectations for the Federal Reserve to move only gradually and continued signs of a steady economy.

"Better growth and inflation is translating into better revenues: this kind of environment is good for stocks and bad for bonds," said Jeff Knight, global head of investment solutions at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, which manages $467 billion in assets.

While the market is looking expensive and there may be better opportunities overseas, low volatility and high investor confidence suggest there might be a bit further for the market to climb, he said. "We think we're heading toward a period of time when it might be wise to de-risk, but we're not there yet."

Elsewhere Friday, the Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.5% midday, weighed down by losses in shares of banks and oil giants. Brent crude oil was up 0.4% at $51.68 a barrel Friday, but remained on track to end the week 3.3% lower. Brent crude shed $2.50 on Thursday, accelerating declines after European and Asian markets closed amid disappointment that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries didn't take more aggressive measures to cut production at a meeting in Vienna.

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Although OPEC members agreed to extend production cuts through March 2018, "the market had been speculating in deeper cuts and a longer commitment," said Martin Enlund, analyst at Nordea.

Energy companies account for roughly 6% of the S&P 500 and the Stoxx Europe 600, according to FactSet.

In currencies, the WSJ Dollar Index edged down 0.2% Friday, deepening this month's losses. The dollar fell 0.8% against the yen, which tends to benefit in times of market stress. Data also showed Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.3% from a year earlier.

The British pound fell 0.6% to $1.2859. Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura, said the move came as a poll showed a narrowing lead for the Conservative Party in June elections.

The pound is likely to continue to be under pressure if polling continues to indicate it is a tighter race, he said. "For the market the worst outcome is if we have further uncertainty with the chances of a hung parliament."

London's export-heavy FTSE 100 index rose 0.2% Friday as the pound weakened, on track for a record high.

Earlier, Australian and Japanese stocks lagged behind other Asian equities on Friday, amid pressure from oil's recent pullback and losses in iron-ore and steel prices.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.7% amid broad weakness in commodities-focused companies, while Japan's Nikkei was off 0.6% as a stronger yen also weighed on Japanese stocks.

South Korea's Kospi Composite Index and India's Sensex notched fresh record highs.

Lucy Craymer contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Lucy Craymer at Lucy.Craymer@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 26, 2017 07:33 ET (11:33 GMT)